A+ Summer Pre-College
A+ Summer Pre-College Rising 11th and 12th grade students prepare for college-level academics and build skills to qualify for top colleges at A+ Summer Pre-College, held on the campuses of Stanford University and (new for 2013) Yale University. Students attend courses in logic, research, writing, and presentations and develop the vocabulary, problem solving and critical reading skills necessary for success on exams and in college-level courses.
Students from even the best high schools are not always ready for the demands of university scholarship. Our goal is to prepare high school students to succeed in college by giving them experience with academic projects similar to those found in college classes in a dynamic, supportive and supervised environment. Over the course of the 14-day program, students will:
- Author a well-reasoned paper that evidences organized argumentation and implements a theoretical framework
- Create a convincing academic presentation and defend their work before friends and faculty
- Leave with an academic timeline to assist in planning for college entrance and preparing for college academics, including a vocabulary development plan, time management tools, and a study skills tool kit
- Navigate a large university campus and carry out the independent skills necessary to be a successful college student
- Complete an introductory Kaplan SAT preparation seminar and leave with a subscription to an Kaplan online SAT prep course!
College-Level Writing Perhaps the most important skill for college-bound students is the ability to write well-reasoned papers. Therefore, the foundation of the A+ Summer program is the College Level Writing Workshop. Our experienced instructors introduce students to college level writing and take them through the process of conceiving and developing a research report. Instructors will challenge students to move beyond simply regurgitating facts in their essays and will encourage them to use advanced methods of comparison and contrast, argumentation, and rhetorical analysis. Each student will write several drafts of an original research paper on a topic of their own interest, as well as complete a number of shorter writing assignments. Our first-rate instructional staff of academic professionals will guide students with one-on-one feedback, lectures and class work.
College Reading and Research Students at A+ Summer will conduct primary research (surveys, interviews, etc.) on a social science topic of their own choice, allowing them to go beyond what they’ve read in books to actually investigate a question of interest to them. Our instructors will help students focus their research questions, design their surveys, collect and analyze results, and support their findings with evidence. Students will have exclusive access to Stanford University libraries to conduct their research, and they will craft a college-level bibliography and literature review akin to what they will be expected to write in college. To further prepare students for college-level thinking, students will be trained in foundational methods for logical reasoning in order that they may apply them to their own research projects, in addition to classic texts and contemporary editorials. They will learn how to ferret out fallacious thinking and develop airtight arguments ready for defense. Furthermore, students will be introduced to “theory,” a subject incorporated into virtually every college-level humanities and social science curriculum but almost never taught in secondary schools. Students will learn how to read and understand a theory and ultimately incorporate that theory in their writing to frame and enhance an argument.
Presentation Skills College students are often asked to explain and defend their work in presentations, but many students do not feel prepared for this challenge. The presentation skills class gives students practical skills and experience delivering effective oral presentations, Many students lack experience making concrete arguments in a presentation, so our instructors will provide students with techniques to stay on topic, speak in coherent, logical and complete sentences, and answer questions. Instructors will work one-on-one with students to give them specific and individualized feedback. In addition students will prepare a final presentation of their research report to be delivered at the end of the program. Instructors use frequent interactive practices to make the class engaging and fun for all students.
Beyond the Classroom Students participate in daily fun activities, including sports, games, arts, and movies. Excursions to local amusement venues, such as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk at the Stanford Camp, balance learning with entertainment. The most recurrent comment at the end of each summer is, “I never knew I would have so much fun!”
“I feel totally prepared for college thesis papers...(A+ College) made me improve the way I thought, wrote and spoke.” – Katlyn Roobian, A+ Pre-College camper
“So much of my freshman year of college was spent "learning how to play the game." I wish I had been able to attend A+ Pre-College and enter my first year of college with skills and confidence - what an advantage these students will have over the average undergrad!” –Former Education Unlimited Summer Staff Member
“Being on a college campus and the overall atmosphere is a fun experience.” –Werners Ballard III, A+ Pre-College Camper
“I thought the staff was the best. All of my instructors were nice and had great information.” - Nicolas Kerr, A+ Pre-College camper